Sean Maher's Quality Control

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Juan Ferreyra's new digs and Archie Moore says it straight

I didn't make explicit mention of it - simply posted an unnamed link - but boy, was I bummed out when I found out last week that Small Gods is ending with issue #12.

So you can imagine my immense pleasure in finding out that Small Gods' artist, Juan Ferreyra, is taking over art duties for Rex Mundi, another great Image book.

The mailing Mo Rhyo quotes at Millarworld is as follows:

From Arvid Nelson's Rex Mundi newsletter:


Juan is the artist for Image’s own Small Gods, which is sadly ending after Issue 12. Small Gods is a great comic, and I’m so sad to see it end. But it’s giving me the opportunity to work with Juan, who might just be the perfect match for Rex Mundi. Not only that, but it’s been such a pleasure getting to know him. I wish I had some more of his art to show, but for now all I can direct you towards is his front cover for Rex Mundi #16.

How spectacular is that, Dear Reader? Of all the artists I’ve worked with, Juan’s come closest to drawing the characters of Rex Mundi the way I see them in my mind’s eye. Juan’s draftsmanship is impeccable, and he has a real knack for picking up on the subtleties of character. He’s going to take this book to a whole new level.

Thanks to Jim for suggesting Juan, and for helping me enlist him. Jim, you are the best, your unique, quirky style is beyond compare. I am so glad to have had the chance to work with you, and I’m just as glad to have become your friend.

(Thanks, Mo!)

So, this is pretty damn great news. Rex Mundi has been a really fun series, and while I loved Eric J's work on the title (see my pimpin' of his work back in August), I think Juan Ferreyra's one of those up-and-comers whose work is not only really great now but also has shown consistent development and improvement over the short Small Gods run.

Which means, to me, that he'll only be getting even better throughout his run on Rex Mundi.

Which, fortunately, is a series I already liked. Rex Mundi has been a great mish-mash of genres, an alternate history period piece with some heavy, heavy film noir influence and a big conspiracy/mystery tale, including religious mythology and horror. Densely packed reading with some really fun characters. I'll have to play a little bit of catch-up, because I've been reading the book in trades. But I'm nonetheless really excited to see that this phoenix is rising from the ashes.


Last night I was reading through George Plimpton's boxing book, Shadow Box, which is partially about the time Sports Illustrated (for whom he was writing) sponsored a three-round exhibition match between Plimpton and the great Archie Moore.

Archie Moore, you'll no doubt remember, was the light heavyweight champion of the world and among the very greatest boxers in professional history. He holds the record for most career knockouts - 141, or 143, depending on your sources - and was the only fighter to box both Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali. He could easily have been the heavyweight champion of the world, having been a top-ranked contender for years, but was passed over for a shot until he was 42 years old. When he got that shot, against a decade-younger Marciano, he certainly made the most of it, becoming one of only two or three men to ever knock down the Brockton Blockbuster and the last man to fight him in the ring.

Moore was also known as a very exciting public personality, a flowery and enthusiastic speaker. Something of a precursor to Ali, in that way. And there's a bit from this Shadow Box book I liked a lot:

I once asked Moore how long it would have taken him to dispose of me had he been required to do so in jig-time. He looked at me speculatively. "'Bout the time it would take a tree to fall on you," he said. "Or for you to feel the nip of the guillotine."
"Very descriptive," I said.
"And very accurate," he said. "You must remember that I am the most of champions."


  • At 1:50 PM, Blogger 'Thought & Humor' said…

    We work like a horse.
    We eat like a pig.
    We like to play chicken.
    You can get someone's goat.
    We can be as slippery as a snake.
    We get dog tired.
    We can be as quiet as a mouse.
    We can be as quick as a cat.
    Some of us are as strong as an ox.
    People try to buffalo others.
    Some are as ugly as a toad.
    We can be as gentle as a lamb.
    Sometimes we are as happy as a lark.
    Some of us drink like a fish.
    We can be as proud as a peacock.
    A few of us are as hairy as a gorilla.
    You can get a frog in your throat.
    We can be a lone wolf.
    But I'm having a whale of a time!

    You have a riveting web log
    and undoubtedly must have
    atypical & quiescent potential
    for your intended readership.
    May I suggest that you do
    everything in your power to
    honor your encyclopedic/omniscient
    Designer/Architect as well
    as your revering audience.
    As soon as we acknowledge
    this Supreme Designer/Architect,
    Who has erected the beauteous
    fabric of the universe, our minds
    must necessarily be ravished with
    wonder at this infinate goodness,
    wisdom and power.

    Please remember to never
    restrict anyone's opportunities
    for ascertaining uninterrupted
    existence for their quintessence.

    There is a time for everything,
    a season for every activity
    under heaven. A time to be
    born and a time to die. A
    time to plant and a time to
    harvest. A time to kill and
    a time to heal. A time to
    tear down and a time to
    rebuild. A time to cry and
    a time to laugh. A time to
    grieve and a time to dance.
    A time to scatter stones
    and a time to gather stones.
    A time to embrace and a
    time to turn away. A time to
    search and a time to lose.
    A time to keep and a time to
    throw away. A time to tear
    and a time to mend. A time
    to be quiet and a time to
    speak up. A time to love
    and a time to hate. A time
    for war and a time for peace.

    Best wishes for continued ascendancy,
    Dr. Howdy

    'Thought & Humor'

    P.S. One thing of which I am sure is
    that the common culture of my youth
    is gone for good. It was hollowed out
    by the rise of ethnic "identity politics,"
    then splintered beyond hope of repair
    by the emergence of the web-based
    technologies that so maximized and
    facilitated cultural choice as to make
    the broad-based offerings of the old
    mass media look bland and unchallenging
    by comparison."

  • At 4:26 PM, Blogger Mark Fossen said…

    Holey Moley ... that's taking commentspam to a whole new freakin' level, there. That's art, it is.

    Anyways ... i swear i had a point coming here, and it was Small Gods. You're the one that turned me on to it, and I recently assembled a complete run. I kept meaning to blog it, and may do so in memoriam when the last issue has run. My main point would be what you just singled out: the growth of Juan Ferreyra throughout the run. The early issue were stiff, mannered, and over-drawn, but you could see his growth as an artist with each issue. he really began to trust hiomself and cut loose, and it was amazing to see him develop like that.

  • At 8:03 PM, Blogger Jason said…

    He's also a super-nice guy and a work-horse if you ever get to meet him. He was doing sketches at our booth at Comic-Con and he was putting ten minutes into these detailed sketches when other cats would scribble and ask for forty bucks.

    And he was doing them for free.

    I wish them both the best - they're some of the best talents in comics today.

    And by the way, Sean, don't ever turn on the word verification. For some reason you get the best spam.

  • At 10:58 PM, Blogger Sean Maher said…

    Mark - Glad you were able to enjoy the book while it was here. I agreed with you in the early run of the book - I knew I liked something there, but I was worried the style would get on my nerves. Juan just never gave me the chance to get sick of it. :)

    Jason - I know, man, it's ridiculous. Some of this shit is truly hysterical. The Spam Stays.

  • At 6:30 PM, Blogger mmjiaxin said…

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